I’ve been hearing the word “grit” quite a bit lately:
- I read an article this week about how sales professionals need to show grit in the face of today’s macro-economic challenges.
- My friend’s son was wearing a t-shirt for his youth sports team, which said “GRIT & DETERMINATION.”
- Back in April, one of my clients asked me to talk about grit and perseverance during my keynote speech at their annual sales conference.
Why so much “grit” talk?
Probably because we need grit now more than ever. While there are still tremendous opportunities in this market, we are flying into a lot of head winds.
Grit is defined as “bravery, determination and courage despite difficulty.” For perspective on what grit means, consider a few quotes:
“Grit is having the courage to push through, no matter what the obstacles are, because it is worth it” – Chris Morris
“Grit is sticking with your future day in, day out and not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years.” – Angela Lee Duckworth
“True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done.” – John Wayne
“Grit is not just simple elbow-grease term for rugged persistence. It is an often invisible display of endurance that lets you stay in an uncomfortable place, work hard to improve upon a given interest and do it again and again.” – Sarah Lewis
Would you close bigger sales if you showed more grit? Do you need to get a little saltier in your career? If you would benefit by getting a little grittier, I have a few action steps for you.
Look for the Positive – We associate grit with the ability and willingness to fight through something negative and win. In order to do that, it helps to be positive. If you believe that you will win/benefit/thrive in the end, it’s easier to dig deep and find the strength to keep going.
Responsibility, Authority, Accountability – These three words determine whether a person succeeds or fails in life or business. The most effective people know they have responsibility for their own lives and decisions. They appreciate the fact that they have full authority to carry out those responsibilities, They show accountability by accepting blame when due and graciously accepting credit when its deserved.
People who live their lives according to responsibility, authority and accountability have a stronger foundation upon which they can stand when the going gets tough.
Take the Initiative – This means you’re assertive and proactive. Think about it: gritty people don’t sit back and wait for things to happen to them.
Adopt Role Models – No matter how seasoned or successful you are, you can still benefit by studying the actions of accomplished people. It’s foolish to “reinvent the wheel,” so study how other people have exhibited grit.
Preparation – Finally, I recommend you always prepare for what lies ahead. It’s much easier to shine during dark times when you get ready in advance. My favorite quote about preparation comes from the late Paul “Bear” Bryant, a legendary college football coach: “It’s not the will to win that matters. Everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”